Every now and then it is good to check in on what’s happening in the premade gaming system space. Let’s face it, you’re reading Atomic, so you probably have a pretty good idea of how to build a PC, and can do so with your components of choice at a price that is likely cheaper than a big name manufacturer like Acer can deliver.
Acer’s Predator lineup has been around for a while now, and has traditionally differentiated itself (and justified its price tag) with outlandishly articulated design – the X58 based systems have a giant, hinged door made out of orange aluminium that hides drive bays for example. The G5910 however has a slightly less flamboyant design, instead settling for a vertical black and white striped front of glossy plastic, with claw like doors hiding optical drives and a small flap covering hot-swap hard drive bays.
We guess that makes it look like a very shiny tiger, which is a Predator. There is a certain synergy there that must have had designer’s high-fiving around the office. But the flamboyant design is very much confined to the front of the Predator – the side panels are fairly drab, with holes for ventilation and little else.
Take the side panel off and the system looks very plain indeed. We’re so used to cases with side panels, and the need for good cable management that the miscellaneous bundle of cabling that hangs in mid air looks a bit messy. Acer has chosen to use a duct that bolts under the vents on the side panel for feeding cool air to the processor, which works but just seems inelegant.
Thankfully the designers of this model of Predator haven’t make the bizarre mistake of putting the system drive in a hot swap bay like some of its predecessors. Instead the system drive is mounted internally and there is a hot swappable secondary drive.
Inside the case sits a decently specced gaming system. It uses a Second Generation Core i7 2600K processor, 4GB of DDR3, Geforce GTX 470 and two 1TB HDDs. It runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and comes with an array of preinstalled software that most gamers won’t use. It isn’t how we would spec up a gaming system – one could easily get away with a second gen Core i5 - from our testing of Sandy Bridge motherboards and processors we know that that the graphics and CPU combo will end up with a lot of games being GPU limited.
With this in mind we threw our normal battery of gaming and processor tests at the G5910. In Crysis the system managed an average of 35.67 fps, a few frames slower than our identically specced testbench. In fact, across the board the scores were consistent with what we had seen from both the Core i7 2600K and the Core i5 2500K in Crysis.
Games in general were eminently playable, but there was nothing outstanding about the performance delivered by the Predator. In Unigine we saw an average 32 fps with no tessellation and 20 fps with it set to extreme, while in 3DMark11 the system managed a performance score of p4178 and an extreme one of x1323. This indicates that while the Predator G5910 is a decent mainstream gaming system, it could be so much more with some tweaking of specs.
If you’re in the market for a premade gaming system and find the Predator aesthetically appealing then this is an adequate offering, but we do think that it could be a much better balance of components. The Core I7 2600K for example is a great processor, but doesn’t shine when paired with a GTX 470. The GTX 470 has been superseded by Nvidia’s new and improved GTX 570, which offers better performance while keeping much cooler. We also noted that there were no USB 3 ports on the system, which is unforgivable when even budget Sandy Bridge motherboards are sporting at least two of these ports.
All of these could be seen as minor concerns, but they do combine to make the Predator seem somewhat average when compared to the other options out there. Add to that a price tag from $2399 (we don’t have pricing for this specific model, just the G5900 series) and this becomes a very hard system to recommend.